So, first post. Bugatti? Ferrari? Porsche? Nope – Peugeot.

22 May

Finally, a man possessed with rage walked into the Peugeot design centre, eyes bloodshot with anger and caffeine and screamed “ENOUGH! STOP DRAWING THESE CRAP CARS AND DRAW SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL! SOMETHING PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY DESIRE RATHER THAN JUST END UP IN BY MISTAKE!”. And Peugeot listened to the cries of this angry man, the result being the very comely Peugeot RCZ. Originally billed as the 308 RCZ in concept form, meaning that it’s retained the sister car’s slightly gurning face, this could be the car to put Peugeot back on the right path…..or on some sort of path. See, thinking about it, Peugeot has never really had what might be called ‘Salad Days’; instead it’s had little flashes of brilliance which have been enough to warm people’s hearts and keep everyone thinking “That Peugeot lot, they’re not so bad”. Think of the 205 GTi. The 106 GTi. The beautiful, Pininfarina designed 504 Coupe. The beautiful Pininfarina-designed 406 Coupe, for that matter. But mixed into this charm and elegance is all of Peugeot’s dross. The 406. The woefully undesirable 607. The 1007.

My first car was a Peugeot 106 Quiksilver and I loved that car very much indeed. Much more than the girlfriend I was with at the time. I imagine many Europeans’ first cars have been Peugeots too. So Peugeot means a lot to a lot of people. Now by no means do I think the RCZ is going to be a world beater. But the design is good. The rear headlamps have a respectable whiff of the Merecedes SLK about them. Its profile is just long enough to pull it out of that Vauxhall Tigra, very soft coupe range (it’s more just regular soft).  It has nice alloys and two chunky exhaust pipes. The engines are a tad disappointing, with your options being one of two 1.6 petrol engines or a 2.0 diesel, but performance-wise they’ll be roughly on par with their competitors such as Mazda’s MX5 and the SLK200. Still, a cheeky little V6 wouldn’t have hurt, although in this day and age I suppose getting as much power out of a 1.6 as Peugeot are getting (0-60 in approx. 7.5), with the implications on emissions, is commendable. Well done Peugeot (V6 yeah?). Whether or not it’s a touch on the  girly side remains to be seen, and I doubt it will be a true driver’s car. Still, it’s an important step for the company in re-establishing some sort of brand allure and presence.

So, stride on Peugeot, be brave, the people are on your side, sell the RCZ in droves and stop making boring Euroboxes!

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